alol (kissingmyelbow) wrote in little_details,

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Taking care of a suicide survivor, hospital advice.

Characters in question: A, the attemptee, almost thirty with a history of self-injury (primarily cutting from ages thirteen/fourteen to twenty, then again from ages twenty-four or five on. There are very obvious scars on his chest, upper arms, and near-genital areas)and (untreated) severe depression. He has no real history of drugs, though he smokes and drinks fairly often, despite having quit both from the time he was twenty-one to twenty-four/five. A is also transsexual but about nine years into transition and not particularly open about it. He is on testosterone but has not had any surgery. (This fact isn't really hugely pertinent to what I'm trying to get answers about, but I included it for completion's sake.) He attempted suicide by cutting his wrists down the vein as opposed to across. It is his first serious attempt that anyone knows about and certainly his first since about age eighteen. I think there have been other attempts in the past, but I'm not sure.
B, his lover of about five years and best friend since before either of them can remember, is about the same age. They live together in probably NYC, but maybe in Northampton, MA. (It's the early 1990's, by the way.) He was the one who called 911 and went to the hospital with A after coming home early to find a note saying that A was in the bath. Because A never takes baths (issues with dysphoria, primarily) and also because he had a certified Bad Feeling about the note he forced the bathroom lock only to find A clothed and in the bathtub, which was filled with bloody water. He also has no problem disclosing for A to the paramedics etc. and is reasonably knowledgeable about A's condition.

Mostly what I need is information on what instructions B would be given about taking care of A once he leaves the hospital. I've been able to find guides for people in the medical profession and for people recovering after a successful suicide nearby but not really any real, medical advice for taking care of a loved one who has just attempted suicide.
I don't really need info on what would be happening inside the hospital because I know it will be a blur for both of them and I can, stylistically, get away without using too much detail, though you're free to give me anything you think is hugely important about that as well.

I assume there will be stuff like change the bandages daily/twice daily (because A is not really in a state to do this himself), how often and what would be the protocol for that? Is it likely that A would be prescribed anything immediately following the attempt? What and how often would he have to take it? Would he be forced to see a therapist or just urged to? I assume B would be told what sort of behavior to expect, generally, both because of the attempt and the medication, what would he be told? Would B be given numbers to call or resources in case A's behavior begins to look worrying again? What sort of numbers? Hotlines? Therapists? Support groups? And so on. Any instructions he's given will be followed very carefully on B's part and kind of obsessed over, so it's important I know them. It's also unlikely that A will seek any help or go to any support groups, simply because of the kind of guy he is, and B won't force the issue because he knows that will just make things worse but he'll worry.
Also, would he have to do a lot of work to be allowed to stay in A's room? A doesn't speak with his family and they're states away anyhow, and even if the fact that they're lovers isn't enough for them to allow him to stay they're both listed as emergency contacts for each other and have a shared residence. B is very clearly distressed by the whole thing, more so than even A himself,and I don't think anyone would really have the heart to kick him out, but I'm asking just in case. (He is also totally willing to bribe, but I don't think it'll come to that.)

ETA for clarity: They live in the U.S., most likely in NYC but there's a slim chance that they live in Northampton, MA or close to there. It's the early/mid 1990s.

I've tried various combinations of "suicide," "advice," "guides," "recovery," "attempts," "loved ones," and probably some others that I forgot.
I admit to not having researched this as thoroughly as I probably should have, but experience as both a survivor and a close friend of several survivors makes trawling through a lot of this stuff profoundly disturbing and I'd like to look at as little of it as I can manage.

Tags: 1990-1999, usa: health care and hospitals, ~psychology & psychiatry (misc), ~suicide

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